Faith Lutheran Church Baltimore

Source: Church website at

In the autumn of 1892, fifteen members of St. Peter's Lutheran Church received letters of dismission from that congregation (then located near the old Baltimore Shot Tower), so that they could organize as a new congregation in northeast Baltimore. A new organization was formed on November 2, 1892 and the first Sunday School session was held on November 27, 1892 in a store room at the corner of Oliver Street and Rutland Avenue. The following Sunday, they held their first service. They were incorporated in 1893.

As the congregation grew, steps were taken to provide a church edifice for worship. Ground was broken October, 1893 at Federal and Wolfe Streets. Dedication was held on June 1894. The 1901 Baltimore City Directory lists the church as ‘Faith Evangelical’ at Wolfe and Federal, the MGS Journal 1901-1909 Federal Street. Membership continued to grow and in 1923 a new, larger building was built at North Avenue and Wolfe Street.

In 1941 the oldest son of our parsonage, Robert F. Hein was graduated from Capital Seminary, Columbus, Ohio and was ordained at Faith Church on August 31, 1941. 1943 marked the Golden Anniversary of the founding. During 1943-44-45, America was engaged in a massive World War. Faith congregation had over two hundred young men and women in the United States Military Service. 1949 was a year of great rejoicing because their building debt had finally been paid in full. Communicant membership peaked at seven hundred at this time, with a Sunday School enrollment of over five hundred. June 6, 1955 was a proud day for Faith, Rev. George F. Hein had bestowed upon him by Capital University the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity. 1955 was also the year (the first time in the churches history) that one of our lay members was commissioned to serve in one of our foreign mission fields. Miss Pauline H. Graf, a graduate of Capital University, accepted the Call to serve in New Guinea. April 1968, Faith along with the nation mourned the loss of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Riots crippled large cities, Baltimore included. Faith was without a pastor and was also forced to look at their future.

The people of Faith decided to move forward and remain aggressive in their determination to serve their community. A call to Sigurd J. Arnesen was accepted and he was installed as Pastor on August 15, 1969. Under the leadership of Pastor Arnesen, the first Black members were received into membership in 1970.

In 1969, Mrs. Jamie Elizabeth Gassaway, a long-time member of St. Philip's Lutheran church decided to venture into another church and wandered into Faith. She went to Faith every Sunday for a year and in 1970 was accepted into membership. Jamie Elizabeth Gassaway became the first Black member of Faith. Her membership signaled a change, as several German American were moving on and transferring to churches in the counties.

Pastor Willard Mckiver, Jr. accepted a call and was installed on January 1, 1991, Faith's 1st African-American Pastor. Today, the membership of Faith Lutheran church is predominately African-American.

Again in 1995, the congregation faced difficult questions. The church was in financial trouble and had salaries to pay and mounting maintenance issues with the church property. Membership was decreasing and the Sunday School virtually closed. God's will was done, the congregation stepped out on faith and with a strong tithing message was able to finish the year in the black.

On Sunday, November 14, 2005, the Reverend John L. Heinemeier was installed as the 10th Pastor of Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church. He graduated from Concordia Seminary in 1962, earned the Master of Sacred Theology degree in 1963. He was ordained in 1963 in Brooklyn, New York and served three inner-city parishes there over the next twenty years. In 1983, he moved to an LCA parish in the south Bronx and then to Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1994.

Today, the membership of Faith Lutheran church is predominately African-American. We are a growing church with a redirected effort to help build up our surrounding community (Broadway-East). We welcome you to join us in working for a new community, both at Faith and in the neighborhood. We need each other!

Pastors of the Congregation

Rev. Andrew Struve

Rev. Hugh H. Ackler

Rev. Luther M. Hunt

Rev. David Schultz

Rev. George F. Hein

Rev. Ulrich F. Groth

Rev. Carl W. Molter

Rev. Sigurd J. Arnesen

Rev. Willard McKiver, Jr.

Rev. John L. Heinemeier

(1893 - 1895)

(1895 - 1905)

(1905 - 1924)

(1924 - 1928)

(1928 - 1956)

(1957 - 1960)

(1960 - 1967)

(1969 - 1990)

(1991 - 2004)

(2004 - present)

Church Contact information:

Tel. Number: 410-675-3991

Fax Number: 410-675-3993

Office Hours: Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 10:00am to 2:00pm.

Rev. Lynell Aljoe-Thurman Email:

Church Email: mail@faithevangelical.netz


Records at the Maryland Archives, MSA S 1512-2563 (00/59/06/36